Volume 17, No.06 - June 2013

Trends and analysis

Strategies towards environmental-economic accounting

The Eighth Meeting of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA) will be held in New York on 20-21 June

Strategies towards environmental economics and statistics (UN Photo/Sean-Sprague)The United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA) is composed of representatives from national statistical offices and international agencies, and provides strategic vision and direction to environmental-economic accounting and related statistics.

The Eighth UNCEEA meeting will discuss proposals leading to a medium-term programme of work for the UNCEEA, which would envisage two main streams of work: one focusing on the implementation of the SEEA Central Framework and the process to advance its research agenda; the second focusing on the testing and experimentation of the SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting and advancing the related research agenda.

The meeting will also discuss the role of the UNCEEA in the process of the post-2015 development agenda, the SEEA communication strategy, emerging issues related to the SEEA, and be informed on the international initiatives on indicators and progress made in SEEA Agriculture and environment statistics.

For more information:
Events Calendar of DESA’s Statistics Division

UN Public Service Forum up close

The United Nations Public Service Forum, Day and Awards Ceremony will take place in Manama, the Kingdom of Bahrain on 24-27 June

2013 United Nations Public Service Forum

Focusing on the theme of “Transformative e-Government and Innovation: Creating a Better Future for All”, the Forum is organized by DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) in partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA), in collaboration with the hosting Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Within the theme of the forum, a number of workshops will be arranged as outlined below.

“Fostering Participation in the Context of The Post-2015 Development Agenda” 
This workshop is jointly organized by DESA and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and it will explore the challenges, trends, innovative practices, and capacity development tools to foster participatory governance with a particular focus on the Arab region. 

The goal of the workshop is to enhance knowledge and build a shared understanding among governance actors of what strategies, practices and tools Member States can adopt to conduct a self-assessment with respect to the engagement of citizen in managing development in their respective countries.

These tools will also assist in fostering participation to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and meet the challenges of sustainable development in the post 2015 context including disparities and inequalities, extreme poverty, food security, governance and climate change. To this end, the UN Secretariat has developed a citizen engagement self-assessment questionnaire (CESAQ) that will be shared with Workshop participants.

Expert Group Meeting on the “Transformative Power of e-Government: Innovative Ideas and Practical Tools for the Post-2015 Development Agenda”
The e-Government Branch of DESA’s Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) is organizing an Expert Group Meeting on the “Transformative Power of e-Government: Innovative Ideas and Practical Tools for the Post-2015 Development Agenda”.

The purpose of the meeting, gathering some 15 experts from around the world, is to provide a forum for discussion to allow them to provide recommendations for DPADM on the formulation of a e-government self-assessment Toolkit.

The purpose of the Toolkit is to help Member States (a) self-identify the steps they need to take to enhance their e-government and hence to transform their government so as that it is more efficient, effective, transparent and open, accountable, participatory and citizen-centric, and (b) provide guidance on how to effectively design and implement an e-governance strategy and roadmap to promote economic, social and sustainable development through progress in key e-governance areas.

“Promoting Collaborative eGovernance through Innovation and ICTs”
The UN Capacity Development Workshop on “Promoting Collaborative eGovernance through Innovation and ICTs” will aim to provide a platform for senior level official from Arab region and across the world, to discuss trends and challenges in e-government of 21st century.

Through an integrated approach of academic overview and in practice implementation, coupled with sharing of experiences and in depth discussions, it will aim to provide guidance on how the government can be enabled to tackle the issues and provide better public services to their citizens through collaborative governance systems in an open and participatory manner.

The main objectives will be to (i) share experiences and lessons learned, (ii) debate emerging issues of e-government development as defined in our flagship publication of UN e-government Survey 2012 focused on whole of government approach (iii) discuss the institutional framework models (iv) provide recommendations on institutional capacity building for e-government officials to respond to an ever changing and challenging environment of innovations in technology.

In this regard, the workshop will focus on two inter-linking issues: (i) the challenges and opportunities of whole of government collaborative approaches and (ii) the challenges of public administration across the world to increase their level of interoperability by leveraging on new technologies and innovation.

“Transforming public service delivery to advance gender equality”
In a context where austerity measures, conflict and development challenges of various natures threaten to stall or reverse progress on gender equality, it is critical to safeguard investment in gender equality, enhance efforts in promoting gender-responsive service delivery, and strengthen accountability and capacity for gender equality commitments. 

The UN Women workshop on “Transforming public service delivery to advance gender equality” will provide a platform for dialogue and experience sharing among civil servants. Over a 2-day meeting representatives of Finance Ministries, planning ministries, sector ministries, local governments and civil society organizations will examine good practices, gaps and challenges in women’s access to public services and make recommendations for the way forward.

Capacity-Building Workshop “Transfer and adaptation of innovative practices for improved public service delivery in LDCs”
The Public Administration Capacity Building Branch of DESA is organizing, within the framework of the 2013 United Nations Public Service Forum, a capacity-building workshop on “Transfer and adaptation of innovative practices for improved public service delivery in LDCs”.

The workshop brings together some 25 -30 trainees from interested least developed countries and will offer a platform for selected public sector managers to increase awareness of the innovations available for important areas of service delivery.

Specifically, the workshop will serve as a working space for networking and for exchanging ideas, knowledge and strategies on the ways to design and implement efficient, equitable and responsive delivery systems. It is expected to make recommendations, what specific innovations are to be transferred and adapted, as well as what countries would participate in the subsequent practitioner-to-practitioner knowledge transfer workshops.

For more information:

United Nations Public Service Forum

Awards to celebrate excellence in public service

Public administration plays crucial role in post-2015 development goals

The 12th session of the UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration will be held at United Nations Headquarters from 15 to 19 April

DESA's Under-Secretary-General Mr. Wu Hongbo at CEPA (Photo: DESA/Nathan Henninger)At UN Headquarters recently, DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo highlighted the crucial role of public administration in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post 2015 development agenda. “We want to acknowledge the significant task of public administration, which is vital for sustainable development”, Mr. Wu said.

His statement to the 12th Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), which took place on 15 to 19 April, on the theme “The role of responsive and accountable public governance in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda”, highlighted the relevance of challenges facing public administration, especially in the creation of a favorable environment to foster economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection – the three pillars of sustainable development.

He also acknowledged the work of the 24 experts of the Committee, who had gathered from more than 20 countries to participate in the session. Mr. Wu said that DESA wanted to highlight the efforts of those serving in the UN Public Service, and “looks forward to further collaboration in building pathways to reach the internationally agreed development goals”.

Opening the Committee’s session a few days earlier, ECOSOC President Néstor Osorio also underscored the importance of a citizen-centric approach and the vital role of public administration in these efforts. He emphasized the possibilities brought on by rapid technological advancements. “We are given an opportunity to listen to people and to partner in sustainable development on an unprecedented scale,” he said, mentioning initiatives promoting e-participation, e-governance and e-services.

“Governments are increasing efficiency and transparency by providing more information online, simplifying administrative procedures, and streamlining bureaucratic functions. As of today, some 25 per cent of the 193 United Nations Member States have embarked on Open Government Data initiatives,” Mr. Osorio said.

Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), CEPA is responsible for supporting the work of ECOSOC concerning the promotion and development of public administration and governance among Member States, in advancing the United Nations Development Agenda. Meeting once a year, it also provides guidance to DESA’s Division of Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), through an annual review of its work programme.

For more information: